what kind of common schools they will have; what system of banking they will adopt, or whether they will adopt any at all; you allow them to decide for themselves the relations between husband and wife, parent.
and child, guardian and ward; in fact, you allow them to decide for themselves all other questions and why not upon this question?
Whenever you put a limitation upon the right of any people to decide what laws they want, you have destroyed fundamental principle of self-government.
In connection with this subject, perhaps it will not be improper for me on this occasion to allude to the position of those who have chosen to arraign my conduct on this same subject.
I have observed from the public prints that but a few days ago the Republican party of the State of Illinois
assembled in Convention at Springfield
, and not only laid down their platform, but nominated a Candidate for the United States Senate, as my successor.
I take great pleasure in saying that I have known, personally and intimately for about a quarter of a century, the worthy gentleman who has been nominated for my place, and I will say that I regard him as a kind, amiable, and intelligent gentleman, a good citizen and an honorable opponent; and whatever issue I may have with him, will be of principle, and not involving personalities.
made a speech before that Republican Convention which unanimously nominated him for the Senate — a speech evidently well prepared and carefully written — in which he states the basis upon which he proposes to carry on the campaign during this summer.
In it he lays down two distinct propositions which I shall notice, and upon which I shall take a direct and bold issue with him.
His first and main proposition I will give in his own language, scripture quotations and all [laughter] ; I give his exact language--“ ‘ A house divided against itself cannot stand.’
I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave
and half free
. I do not expect the Union
to be dissolved.
I do not expect the house to fall; but I do expect it to cease to be divided.
It will become all
one thing or all
In other word, Mr. Lincoln
asserts, as a fundamental principle of this government that there must be uniformity in the local laws and domestic institutions of each and all the States of the Union
; and he therefore invites all the non-slaveholding States to band together, organize as one body, and make war upon slavery, in Kentucky
, upon slavery in Virginia
, upon the Carolinas, upon slavery in all of the slaveholding States in this Union, and to persevere in that war until it shall be exterminated.
He then notifies the slaveholding States to stand together as a unit and make an aggressive war upon the free States of this Union with a view of establishing slavery in them all; of forcing it upon Illinois
, of forcing it upon New York, upon New England
, and upon every other free State, and that they shall keep up the warfare until it has been formally established in them all, In other words, Mr. Lincoln
advocates, boldly and clearly a war of sections, a war of the North
against the South
, of the free States against the slave States--a war of extermination to be continued relentlessly until the one or the other shall be subdued, and all the States shall either become free or become slave.
Now, my friends, I must say to you frankly, that I take bold, unqualified issue with him upon, that principle.
I assert that it is neither desirable nor possible that there should be uniformity in the local institutions and domestic regulations of the different States of this Union.
The framers of our government never contemplated uniformity in its internal concerns.
The fathers of the Revolution, and the sages who made the Constitution
, well understood that the laws and domestic institutions which would suit the granite hills of New Hampshire
would be totally unfit for the rice plantations of South Carolina
; they well understood that the laws which would suit the agricultural districts of Pennsylvania
and New York would be totally unfit for the large mining regions of the Pacific
, or the lumber regions of Maine
They well understood that the great varieties of soil, of production and of interests, in a Republic as large as this, required different local and domestic regulations in each locality, adapted to the wants and interests of each separate State, and for that ge